Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak to Elder Jorgensen. Elder Jorgensen is the district leader over the nine missionaries who comprise the referral center mission, the missionaries who run the mormon.org chat, and who conduct lessons via Skype and Facebook. I asked Elder Jorgensen what advice he had for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about how to be better online missionaries. Below are three ways to be a great internet missionary–from the expert!
1. Keep it Personal
Elder Jorgensen said, “Don’t have a regular verse you share every other Wednesday.” Our faith should be a part of our lives, including our internet presence. But when we share things online to everyone, we often forget the individuality of those we’re speaking to. Sharing the gospel should come from the relationship we have with others, this doesn’t mean we have to be someone’s best friend before sharing the gospel. It means that whatever our relationship is, should provide the backbone for our conversation. Share parts of the gospel that have meant something to you, that you think your friends or acquaintances would appreciate.
2. Keep it Concise
The referral center mission tends to avoid teaching entire lessons at once, instead preferring a series of small lessons throughout the day, asking investigators to watch this video, and then read this prezi. These little individual pieces combined teach an entire lesson. Elder Jorgensen said, “Keep your missionary work inline with the internet. The internet is all about short tidbits.” We can take a cue from his approach. People are much more likely to read a three hundred word blog post on faith, then a three thousand word opus on the first four principles of the gospel.
3. Keep it Simple
When we share the gospel online, it is often difficult to know what people are understanding, so there is a major temptation to share everything we know and love about a subject. But remember it’s taken you a lifetime to learn everything you love about the gospel. Follow Nephi’s advice to teach “line upon line.” This does not mean we have to avoid difficult conversations. In fact Elder Jorgensen said that online conversations are often the ideal place to resolve concerns about difficult issues, because you don’t have to sit face to face with someone. But he encouraged, even with difficult topics, strive to show how the topic connects to the basic principles of the gospel such as the atonement and restoration.
How You Can Help
Through social media, so many of us remain in contact with friends across the world, and it can be difficult to connect them to the local missionaries. The referral center missionaries can help. Go to their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/missionarypage, and send them a message putting them in contact with your friend. These amazing tools can help us spread the gospel like never before.